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June 2012 News and Matters of Interest

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Hawaii Biochar Products Partners with Pennsylvania's The Biochar Company

BiocharPennsylvania based The Biochar Company has announced its partnership with the commercial biochar production company Hawaii Biochar Products, LLC. (HBP) to strengthen both firms and diversify their biochar products. The Biochar Company produces Soil ReefTM Biochar made from low-temperature torrefaction of uncontaminated biomass, a permanent soil amendment that supports soil structure for healthy micro-flora "like a coral reef in your soil." The company also sells a custom blend of biochar, compost and worm castings. HBP's Josiah Hunt started making biochar in his backyard and giving it away to neighbors, who are now confirmed customers. With a new retort, HBP can expand beyond its ton per week production rate; with the new partnership and new agricultural products distribution agreements, Mr. Hunt hopes to better serve the growing Hawaiian Islands market demand. Both companies create their products from woody wastes that would otherwise be disposed or burnt in open piles. One novel HBP product is called "Papaya BBs": the acidic papaya seeds always simply dumped from local fruit processing do not compost in the soil, but when run through HBPs retort, form pH neutral, sterile, evenly sized charcoal nodules with a fairly high available nitrogen and phosphorus content. Co-Director of The Biochar Company, Lopa Brunjes, feels the partnership with Josiah Hunt's HBP will speed the launch of the biochar industry. “Demand for biochar is growing,” she explains. “It’s more effective to band together to make a difference rather than compete.” 06/30/2012

EdeniQ Launches Pilot Biorefinery Demonstrating Corn to Cellulosic Migration

EdeniQLocated in Visalia in the heart of California's Central Valley, EdeniQ biomaterials and biofuels firm has announced launch of its pilot cellulosic biorefinery. Edeniq integrates patented mechanical and biological processes to efficiently and cost-effectively break down plant material into sugars that become sustainable fuels and/or industrial materials. The integrated processing combined CallunatorTM micro-milling, advanced enzyme biocatalysis, and proprietary yeast fermentation. The plant was constructed in partnership with Logos Technologies Inc. under a $25 million program funded 80% by the Integrated Biorefinery Initiative Program of the U.S. Department of Energy. EdeniQ also received $3.9 million from the California Energy Commission earlier this month under Assembly Bill 118's program for green fuels development. The pilot plant has the capacity to convert two dry tons per day of feedstock into cellulosic sugars and 50,000 gallons per year cellulosic ethanol. The bolt-on technologies will allow existing corn to ethanol plants to "migrate" to cost-effective conversion of sustainable feedstocks such as corn stover, switchgrass, sugarcane bagasse, and woodchips. "Reducing our dependency on foreign oil with minimal effect on the environment is a goal that Edeniq shares with all Americans," said Brian Thome, President and CEO of Edeniq. "We are working towards this goal by demonstrating, in our pilot plant, advanced technologies and methods to convert non-food cellulosic feedstocks into ethanol in an economically and environmentally compelling way." 06/30/2012

Gevo and Butamax Both Advance in Isobutanol Commercial Production Race

GevoContinuing a neck-and-neck race toward full commercialization, bio-sourced isobutanol production companies Gevo and Butamax have both released announcements of significant advances this past week. Colorado based Gevo provided an update of an evaluation of producing high-volume isobutanol with collaborator BioFuel Energy, indicating successful completion of preliminary technical feasibility. Gevo recently began the start up of its first commercial-scale isobutanol plant in Luverne, Minnesota with plans for another startup in 2013 at its Redfield, South Dakota joint venture. The company announced its intent to tender common stock shares and senior notes, and on Friday provided pricing for the concurrent sales. “The capacity of BioFuel’s plants would allow us to begin delivering isobutanol at the scale that refinery customers are likely to demand,” said Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo. “We have the potential to be at the forefront of the Advanced Biofuel market. BioFuel Energy recognizes this potential and has agreed to explore a possible retrofit of their assets to produce isobutanol.” Butamaz Advanced BiofuelsButamax Advanced Biofuels, based in Wilmington Delaware, has added ethanol company Big River resources to it Early Adopters Group for integration of isobutanol production with existing corn-to-ethanol operations. “Big River Resources are a large and high quality operation and we are delighted by their interest in Butamax” said Paul Beckwith, Butamax CEO. “Last December, we announced our EAG with the intention of building a membership representing half a billion gallons of production capacity by early 2013. We are pleased that the strong interest in Butamax™ technology has resulted in significantly exceeding that target nearly a year ahead of schedule.” 06/30/2012

International Biochar Initiative Calls for Expert Panel Nominations

International Biochar InitiativeThe International Biochar Initiative (IBI) has announced a call for nominations to an expert panel for the development of standardized biochar stability test methodologies needed to establish a carbon market protocol. In collaboration with the Climate Trust and the Prasino Group, the IBI intends to facilitate receipt of greenhouse gas reduction offset credits for biochar projects. The main focus of the panel of experts initially will be ways to determine and demonstrate the relative long-term stability of biochar in the soil environment. The panel members should have demonstrated expertise in this topic, and must be ready to contribute 3 to 5 hours per week between now and September of this year for monthly on-line meetings, preparatory work and reporting. Biochar is a solid material obtained from the carbonization of biomass. Biochar may be added to soils with the intention to improve soil functions and to reduce emissions from biomass that would otherwise naturally degrade to greenhouse gases. Biochar also has appreciable carbon sequestration value. These properties are measurable and verifiable in a characterization scheme or in a carbon emission offset protocol. The stability test protocols follow the IBI's "Standardized Product Definition and Product Testing Guidelines of Biochar That is Used in Soil", member-approved and released in May 2012 as part of a larger effort to establish globally accepted biochar standards. The IBI is currently developing an IBI Biochar Certification program that will allow producers to officially label their biochar with an IBI logo as having met the requirements of the Biochar Standards. The IBI believes that a program to certify biochar according to the Biochar Standards will further develop the biochar industry. 06/27/2012

University of Minnesota Will Demo APL's 100 kWe Biomass Gasifier-in-a-Box

University of Minnesota, MorrisThe University of Minnesota, Morris (UMN) has announced a demonstration of its newly installed containerized biopower generation system this Thursday June 28, 2012. The "PowerTainer" system was built by All Power Labs (APL) of Berkeley, California to fit within one standard 20' steel shipping container and consists of a wood gasification unit, gas cleanup system, fuel hopper, fuel handling system, Cummins diesel generator set (genset) and computerized control systems. The project is the result of a partnership between the University of Minnesota Morris campus, Cummins Power Generation and the University of Minnesota Center for Diesel Research with primary funding from the Department of Energy's National Energy Testing Laboratory (NETL; award number DE-EE0003239). When run on diesel, the Cummins genset produces 100 kilowatts of electricity; running on the lower energy density synthetic fuel gas (syngas) from the APL wood gasifier, the system generates about 80 kilowatts, with a 90% reduction in greenhouse gases over diesel. A key focus of the project is the integration of a biomass gasification system with a commercially available diesel genset, to determine what challenges are presented by the syngas characteristics and how the operating efficiency compares with the efficiency of a biomass CHP power plant already operating on the Morris campus. UMN notes that the PowerTainer has several potential applications. On farms, the shaft power can be used to run farm machinery, and the producer gas can be used to fuel grain dryers in addition to powering the generator. In disaster areas, wood and debris can be used to fuel the generator and provide electricity or mechanical power. Other potential applications include military and small industry use. APL has posted an on-line gallery of photos of the installation of its PowerTainer on the Morris campus. 06/27/2012

Pepco and Delmarva Power Will Offer Combined Heat and Power Incentives

PepcoPepco and Delmarva Power, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Pepco Holdings Inc, have announced approval to conduct a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Incentive Program for development of projects within their Maryland territories. Pepco provides electric service to more than 788,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Delmarva Power is a regulated utility that delivers electricity to 501,000 homes and businesses in Delaware and along the Eastern Shore of Maryland and natural gas to 124,000 customers in northern Delaware. Pepco and Delmarva Power are jointly developing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process targeted for release in mid-July 2012 seeking CHP projects. Projects will be submitted to Pepco or Delmarva Power for program pre-approval. Upon pre-approval, incentives will be reserved for the project that can include an upfront payment of $250 per kW to help offset the installation and engineering costs of the CHP project, and additional production incentives of $.07 per kWh produced, for the first 18 months following the start-up of the CHP system. The open submittal period will be 120 days in length. Projects will need to be completed by late 2014. Pepco and Delmarva Power encourage Maryland customers and CHP vendors to begin formulating plans now to take full advantage of the CHP program offerings. Interested parties who would like to receive the RFQ may contact the company's project offices: Pepco, 866-353-5798,or Delmarva Power, 866-353-5799,. 06/27/2012

Texas A&M AgriLife Estimates Cost of Delivered Mesquite Biomass for Bioenergy

Texas A&M AgriLifeThe Texas A&M University AgriLife Research and Extension Service has provided an update on the economics of biomass acquisition, reporting on the on-going research efforts to utilize honey mesquite as feedstock for bioenergy. In rangelands, the large shrubby trees are considered nuisance species that invade grasslands and reduce the amount of grass available for grazing; coppicing (cutting off stems above ground) would leave a higher-value, more open landscape for seven or eight years while the plants grew enough to again be harvested. Rangeland species such as mesquite and juniper require little or no field maintenance, and the naturally low moisture content at harvest of the biomass reduces fuel processing cost when collected to produce bioenergy. Also, mesquite and juniper do not contend for acreage with food crops. But these benefits are off-set by 10-year cycle regrowth rates, rugged terrain and highly variable growth form. Harvesting costs ranged from $347 to $561 per acre; the total amount of land available for harvesting, density per acre and the number of acres with sufficiently dense growth were the key factors determining economics. Additionally, the researchers found that a long-term agreement with the landowner was necessary, since economical harvesting was only possible when dense patches could be repeatedly harvested. The research team consisting of Dr. Seong Park, Dr. Jim Ansley and Dr. Mustafa Mirik and associate visiting French scientist Marc Maindrault published their most recent assessments as "Delivered Biomass Costs of Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) for Bioenergy Uses in the South Central USA" last month in the journal, Bioenergy Research. 06/26/2012

Tembec Replaces Oil Boilers with Biomass Boiler for CHP at Béarn Sawmill

TembecThe Canadian diversified lumber company Tembec inaugurated a new $6 million biomass-fueled 7 megawatt (MW) combined heat and power (CHP) generator system at its Béarn sawmill in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Quebec. The new bioenergy system replaces two existing 6 MW oil-fired boilers and will burn milling residual bark to generate sufficient electricity to run the mill operations and enough heat for the two kilns and the sawmill buildings. Eliminating the annual consumption of 2.8 million litres of oil fuel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 88% at the facility. Work began last fall and was completed this spring on schedule. Tembec uses Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified-sustainable forest feedstock; the company's Béarn sawmill also provides wood chips as raw material and biomass as a source of energy to the Tembec specialty cellulose plant in Témiscaming, whose recent expansion and long-term viability is tied partly to the sawmill. Michel Bastien, Tembec Vice President, SPF, Quebec Division: “Thanks to this initiative, our facilities will be significantly more competitive, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. Not only will we operate a more efficient sawmill, but we will also enhance the quality of the environment as well as supply a portion of the energy needs of our specialty cellulose plant in Témiscaming." Tembec is a manufacturer of forest products – lumber, pulp, paper and specialty cellulose – and a global leader in sustainable forest management practices. Principal operations are in Canada and France. With annual sales of approximately $2 billion, Tembec has 4,000 employees. 06/26/2012

Piedmont Biofuels Celebrates Ribbon-cutting for Enzymatic Biodiesel Plant

Piedmont BiofuelsNorth Carolina based advanced biodiesel producer Piedmont Biofuels celebrated the official opening of its new production facilities on Lorax Lane in Pittsboro last week. It was a party with music, food, drink, and a good showing of VIPs with US Senator Kay Hagan presiding and Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, participating. Piedmont has led the region in advanced biodiesel research and development, assisting in the establishment of the North Carolina Biofuels Center whose director, Steve Burke, also attended. Piedmont was the first biodiesel producer in North Carolina, and started operations a decade ago. Since August of last year, Piedmont was one of the first producers to post "Sustainability Report Cards" on distribution pumps, in a national program of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance. Piedmont's advanced FAeSTER enzymatic pre-treatment allows the company to broaden its acceptable feedstock using free fatty acid feedstocks into quality fuel; Kurt Creemer of Novozymes was to speak on the company's use of its enzymatic products. The company's policy has been to pursue continual research and development, and maintains full testing facilities on-site for itself and others in the industry. This includes developing new catalysts for esterification and transesterification, working with low quality and alternative feedstocks, improving and simplifying quality control testing, developing methods and systems for sidestream management, reducing waste and improving the efficiency of the production process. Piedmont's President, Lyle Estill, has written numerous articles and essays, and the book, "Biodiesel Power: the Passion, People and Politics of the Next Renewable Fuel." 06/26/2012

BiogenGreenfinch Gets Planning Approval for Food Waste AD Plant In Wales

BiogenGreenfinchBedfordshire, United Kingdom (UK) based BiogenGreenfinch has announced it has received planning approval from the Gwynedd Council in Wales to build and operate the Caernarfon green energy plant, for anaerobic digestion of 11,000 tonne per annum (tpa) of food. The company was selected as preferred bidder in March of this year for the Council's GwynriAD Project. Produced biogas will fuel 3.5 megawatts of renewable electricity generation; digestate will be used to enrich the region's farmlands. BiogenGreenfinch has three other food waste AD plants in the UK, the first 47,000 tpa plant developed in 2005 located in Bedfordshire, the second a 24,000 tpa facility in 2006 in Ludlow, Shropshire and then third 45,000 tpa plant completed in 2009 near Rushden in Northamptonshire. All operations are integrated into the surrounding farming enterprises, providing a closed-loop through use of residuals and return of biofuertilizer. BiogenGreenfinch staged a special event for locals the previous week to detail its plans for a food waste recycling plant at a former landfill site. Richard Barker, Chief Executive at BiogenGreenfinch, said: “The event proved extremely successful, with visitors to the exhibition genuinely interested in our plans for an anaerobic digester. We are very pleased with the Council’s decision to approve the plans for the AD plant and are keen to start on the construction and of course to work alongside Gwynedd Council to help it promote its recycling message.” 06/26/2012

USDA Awards Support 450 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects

US Department of AgricultureUS Department of Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Thomas Vilsack announced the agency has selected 450 projects to fund across the nation, focused on agriculture and small rural business to reduce energy consumption and implement renewable energy projects. The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) was authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill; today's announced awards also included more than $400,000 toward funding 20 feasibility studies. In Washington, Port Angeles Hardwood, LLC, has been selected to receive a grant to study the feasibility of installing a woody biomass co-generation system at their sawmill. If the project is feasible, all biomass mill residuals are estimated to be consumed, and no biomass will have to be sent to a landfill. In South Londonberry, Vermont Woodchips, Inc has been selected to receive a grant to help determine feasibility of installing a 4 megawatt combined cycle biomass gasifier power plant. "The Obama Administration and the USDA are helping agricultural producers and rural small business owners reduce their energy costs and consumption – and by doing so is helping to create jobs, preserve our natural resources, protect the environment and strengthen the bottom line for businesses." said Vilsack. "This is part of the Administration's "all of the above" energy strategy. Stable energy costs create an environment for sustainable job growth in rural America." 06/26/2012

W2 Energy Plans Manufacture of $5MM Waste and Coal to Diesel Prototype

W2 EnergyOntario, Canada waste conversion specialist W2 Energy, Inc. has announced receipt of a $5 million commitment for development of a 10-ton per day waste-plus-coal to diesel conversion prototype in Botswana. W2 Energy estimates the cost of manufacturing the coal/waste-to-liquid (CTL) plant at $5 million. Fuel production for the plant is estimated at 1,000 gallons per day; however, after the utilization of EGM's Enhanced Fuel Refinery System those estimates are expected to reach 7,571 litres or 2,000 gallons per day. Recent diesel fuel prices in Botswana are .97 cents (USD) per litre or $3.68 (USD) per gallon. At a production level of 7,571 litres or 2,000 gallons of biodiesel per day, estimates see revenues producing approximately $2,686,000 (USD) per year. Those estimates are for fuel production only and do not take into consideration any power produced by the plant. W2 Energy utilizes stationary or mobile, sequential batch or continuous gasification with catalytic conversion of the synthetic fuel gas (syngas) to diesel fuel, and can convert a wide range of feedstock types from municipal solid waste (MSW) to agricultural biomass to coal. Modules range from a processing capacity of 60 to 600 metric tons per day. BCL which is 93% government owned has already committed to sign a Power/Fuel Purchase Agreement for all power and fuel produced by the plant. 06/25/2012

UK's New Beverage Carton Reprocessing Plant Will Boost Recycling Rates

Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment UKThe Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK has announced an agreement with Sonoco Alcore® to construct the United Kingdom's (UK) only beverage container reprocessing facility co-located with its production plant near Halifax, West Yorkshire. Sonoco Alcore® is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based, global container manufacturing company Sonoco. ACE UK has collaborated with local municipalities to increase the recovery rate for all types of beverage containers both through regular curbside waste collection and with the industry's own buy-back program. At present, cartons collected through the ACE programs must be shipped to Italy for reprocessing. Beverage cartons are composed of high-quality fiber that is a valuable raw material for new paperboard products such as the tubes for cling film and the cores for rolls of textiles. ACE notes, "Taking into account all of the UK collection hubs, and based on sending the cartons to the Italian paper mill, this would be an average annual saving of 41,378 road miles which is an average annual saving of 178 tonnes of CO2. And with the saving of 110,400 annual rail miles this will save a further 110 tonnes of CO2. A total saving therefore of about 288 tonnes of CO2." The new processing lines should be operational by 2013, with an initial 25,000 tonne per annum capacity, which would reduce landfill taxes and gate fees on average by £3,400,000 based on landfill tax for 2012 and £3,600,000 for 2013. 06/25/2012

Due 07/02/2012: Comments on DOE's Guide for Large-Scale Renewable Projects

US Department of EnergyLast week, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the publication of the draft Federal Renewable Energy Guide: Developing Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects at Federal Facilities Using Private Capital. The draft Guide is available on the Federal Register website, and is primarily intended to provide guidance to Federal agencies on how to establish a project development framework to allow Federal agencies to work effectively with private developers on the implementation of large-scale renewable energy projects. The document contains specific questions for consideration, including: does the draft sufficiently identify the private sector's motivations and constraints related to large-scale renewable energy projects, does it portray the developer and financier processes, are the terms referring to the stages of the process that developers and financiers use to develop large-scale renewable energy projects accurate, and would renewable energy developers be interested in pursuing large-scale renewable energy projects at Federal facilities that follow the steps outlined in this guidebook. Comments are due by July 2, 2012 and should be emailed to. Include “Comments—[Name/Organization]” in the subject line of the email. The DOE notes that the full body of comments should be included in the text of the message, or provided as an attachment. For further information, contact Mrs. Anne Crawley, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Federal Energy Management Program (EE-2L), 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121; (202) 586-1505;  . 06/25/2012

Due 07/05/2012: Intent to Offer on SCE All-Source Power RFO

Southern California EdisonSouthern California Edison (SCE) has issued a competitive Energy and Supply Management (ES&M) All Source Request for Offers (RFO) for new power contracts up to 4 years in duration, and is seeking (a) dispatchable unit contingent energy only tolling agreements, (b) non-dispatchable qualifying facilities resources and (c) resource adequacy capacity products. A Bidder's Conference Call is scheduled for 9:00am, Wednesday June 27, 2012; call-in details and all pertinent documents are posted to the ES&M RFO web page. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the 2012 ES&M RFO are also available on-line. Southern California Edison is an Edison International company, serving 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California. Address questions regarding SCE’s 2012 All Source RFO by email to  , or contact Ola Heum, (626) 302-3205 or Jesse Bryson (626) 302-3297. “Our goal through this annual solicitation is to find the most competitive and reliable energy resources and products to meet our customers’ needs,” said Steven Eisenberg, vice president of Energy Supply and Management. “Each year through this RFO, we reach out to the independent generator and energy marketing communities to find the most attractively valued resources for our customers.” 06/25/2012

Due 07/02/2012: Comments to CalRecycle on California's 75% Recycling Initiative

California Department of Resources Recycling and RecoveryThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery(CalRecycle) has requested that public comments on this version of the agency's draft implementation plan "California's New Goal: 75 Percent Recycling" be submitted by July 2, 2012. As mandated by Assembly Bill (AB) 341, CalRecycle must submit an implementation plan by January 1, 2014; the state will continue seeking public input during the next 18 months. CalRecycle released the draft Plan "as a jumping off point", early in this formulative process. All comments submitted through June 20, 2012 are available online, and new comments received by July 2nd are supposed to be added to this posting. The state has provided a downloadable fill-in Comment Form to provide a comparable structure, and commenting parties are asked to either use the form or adhere to the outline of questions if you submit in another manner. Completed comments should then be emailed to. The CalRecycle will collate all stakeholder input and expects to develop and release a second draft in September 2012 in conjunction with monthly meetings and additional workshops. A new 75% Recycling Initiative listserv has been developed to aid in communications. Teru Talk has developed and posted a legislative review of AB 341 to help make sense of the Initiative and inform public comment development. 06/24/2012

TAQA and CWM Sign MOU for 1MM tonne MSW to Energy Facility in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi National Energy CompanyAbu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has announced signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Centre for Waste Management Abu Dhabi (CWM) to collaborate in the development of a 100 megawatt electric (MWe) generation facility fueled with up to one million tonnes per year of the region's municipal solid waste (MSW). The CWM recently initiated a high tech waste collection pilot program, where urban center waste containment is primarily underground and sensors alert the collection and hauling company when a vault is full. The TAQA waste to energy (WtE) plant will be the first of its kind in the United Arab Emirates, but is a minor undertaking when compared to the $1.4 billion, 700 megawatt expansion of the utility's coal-fired complex in Morocco for which TAQA's subsidiary Jorf Lasfar Energy Company 5&6 SA just completed financing arrangements. The Abu Dhabi WtE plant will contribute to the CWM's goal of 80% diversion of MSW from landfilling by 2030. HE Mohammed Al Bawardi, Chairman of the CWM, said, “Keeping up with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 requires the concerted efforts of various departments and national institutions to develop in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way. In signing this Agreement, we at the Centre of Waste Management see cooperation with TAQA as the mainstay of a sustainable waste management strategy, focusing on our goal of 80% diversion of waste from landfill.” 06/22/2012

Covanta and City of Tulsa Extend Agreement for Energy from Waste

Covanta EnergyWaste conversion and resource recovery giant Covanta Energy has announced an agreement with the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma to extend the prior waste management contract for an additional 10 years. The agreement is between Covanta WBH, LLC a subsidiary of Covanta Energy Corporation, and the Tulsa Authority for the Recovery of Energy, and covers the period July 2, 2012 through June 30, 2022 with options for extension. The contract extension also ensures about one-third of the feedstock supply for Covanta's combined heat and power Energy-from-Waste (EfW) plant. The Walter B. Hall Resource Recovery Facility was the first EfW project built by Covanta, opening in 1986. Now, the facility processes over 300,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) per year, generates up to 240,000 pounds-per-hour of steam used to generate power for an adjacent refinery, and recovers around 7,700 tons of metal per year that would have been landfilled. “Covanta has a long history in the City of Tulsa so we are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement to continue providing sustainable waste disposal and clean, renewable energy to the City,” said Paul Stauder, Covanta senior vice president of business management. “The City was on the leading edge when the facility was built and that appetite for innovation continues to prevail today. The City should be applauded for its foresight in choosing to utilize energy from waste for sustainable municipal solid waste disposal. We look forward to serving the residents of Tulsa in the many years ahead.” 06/22/2012

ACORE Launches "Myth-Busters" Renewable Energy Fact Check Service

America Council on Renewable EnergyThe America Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) has added a significant resource that is available to the public with the launch of its Energy Fact Check website. The new Fact Check service provides a "myth-busters" approach to counter the misinformation prevalent in the renewable energy industry, covering issues regarding Cost and Availability, Jobs, National Security, Policies and Technologies, Public Opinion and Bipartisan Support, and the Strength of the Industry. The site also maintains a running update of key energy news, a hyper-linked Energy Library tracking key reports and presentations, and a growing list of Energy Contacts will help drill down to proper contacts in our national organizations. Energy Fact Check is designed as a resource for journalists, policymakers, and others engaged in the debate over clean and renewable energy. Its purpose is to educate, inform and share perspectives in real time. EnergyFactCheck.org is designed to help ensure both sides of the story are told by responding to inaccuracies and misrepresentations with the facts on an industry that is popular, productive, growing and essential to America’s economy, energy independence and national security. 06/22/2012

WELTEC's Spherical Biogas Storage Improves Hungarian Plant Efficiency

WELTEC BiopowerGerman anaerobic digestion specialist WELTEC Biopower has reported the installation and implementation of a key efficiency and economic solution using an ancillary 600 cubic meter storage capacity spherical vessel for raw biogas storage. The increased storage was developed with the firm's Hungarian partner INWATCH to augment biogas management at its one megawatt power plant running in Szeged, southern Hungary, where the day-time power feed-in tariff is twice as high as at night. Substantial additional power can be sold by the plant by storing the biogas produced in WELTEC's twin 3,000 cubic meter digesters during the low-tariff period and running INWATCH's two 600 kilowatt combined heat and power generator modules at full capacity during the daylight hours. INWATCH had used the spherical tanks in the past, and considered the additional safety margin worth the greater cost. INWATECH co-operates the facility with Zöldforrás Energia, a subsidiary of the power supplier DÉMÁSZ, to produce 440 cubic metres of raw gas an hour. The heat utilization will boost the plant‘s efficiency to more than 80 percent, and the thermal energy utilization will amount to about 9 million kWh/year, of which about 1.2 million kWh is used to maintain temperature in the digesters. The generated heat will be used for the air-conditioning of the on-site office buildings, biosolids drying and heating of adjacent pigsties for about 20 hours per day for nine months a year. 06/22/2012

Due 07/31/2012: Abstracts for SWANA's March 2013 Landfill Gas Symposium

Solid Waste Association of North AmericaThe Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has released a Call for Papers for its 36th Annual Landfill Gas Symposium, scheduled for March 18-21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The program will include presentations and project case studies featuring new technology, emission controls, system design and operations, and unconventional applications. Considerable information about this year's successful 35th LFG Symposium in March in Orlando Florida is available on-line, as are details of SWANA's Road to Zero Waste conference held in February of this year in Austin Texas. Just this week, the association presented its 2012 Excellence Awards that recognize "outstanding solid waste programs and facilities that advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound solid waste management;" Covanta took Gold, Silver and Bronze awards in the Waste to Energy category. SWANA's guiding principle defines the relationship between public and private waste management: "Local government is responsible for municipal solid waste management, but not necessarily the ownership and/or operation of municipal solid waste management systems." Parties submitting accepted abstracts for the 2013 LFG symposium must then submit a full final paper for inclusion in the conference proceedings. The association has provided an easy to use on-line survey for submission of abstracts, which are due July 31, 2012. For more information, contact SWANA's Division and Conference Programs Department at. 06/22/2012

2012 CleanTech Open Semifinalists Include Biomass, Waste, Energy Start-ups

CleanTech OpenThe Cleantech Open has announced 47 semifinalists in the 2012 Western Regional CleanTech Open competition, and will present awards leading to the Finals at today's National Conference in San Jose, California. Semifinalists will receive focused mentoring and coaching and an intensive “business boot camp” at the Cleantech Open National Academy to help develop a business plan and investor pitch that will be presented to investors and experts at the Cleantech Open Global Forum in November. Awards for this round can be as much as $250,000, with Finalists vying for combined support approaching $1 million. Among this round's winners are companies focused on various aspects of biomass, bioproducts, waste and energy: Discovery Carbon of Zephyr Cove, NV provides EvoCertsTM carbon credit based financing coupled with their GreenTree HDHF-1 afforestation program. Skip To Renew of San Rafael, California provides non-toxic biodegradable industrial lubricants created from sustainably sourced plant and algal oils. Connora Technologies has developed a recyclable epoxy compound that allows low-energy recovery of all components from carbon and fiberglass composites. Stanford Nitrogen Group's "Coupled Aerobic-anoxic Nitrous Decomposition Operation" (CANDO) won a Department of Energy "First Look West" (Flow) award last month with their novel process for efficient waste nitrogen removal and energy recovery. Erik Steeb, regional director of the Cleantech Open western region: “This year, we expanded our regional footprint, appointing metro directors to drive awareness and local engagement in six major metro areas across California and Nevada. These efforts paid off as we saw more entries than ever before, representing all areas of the region.” 06/21/2012

PTG's Wastewater Disinfection & Energy System Passes Ventura Water's Tests

Pasteurization Technology GroupCalifornia based Pasteurization Technology Group (PTG) and the City of Ventura Water Department have both announced successful completion of the initial evaluation phase of a non-chlorine wastewater disinfection and energy system pilot at the City of Ventura's Water Reclamation Facility. The city initiated the trials to determine if PTG's integrated technology system could meet CCR Title 22 wastewater treatment criteria while reducing both the cost and toxicity of that treatment when compared to existing processes. PTG's patented system was installed and has been processing 500,000 gallons per day since December 2011, meeting California standards and well within Ventura County's own more stringent water safety requirements. The system is utilizing the Reclamation Facility's own digester gas augmented as needed with natural gas to drive a turbine that generates heat and electricity. The exhaust energy from the turbine (over 900°F) is then used to drive a set of heat exchangers that increase the temperature of the wastewater to a level that disinfects the wastewater stream. A full-scale design of the system has the potential to generate enough electricity to power the entire facility, which currently costs approximately $900,000 per year. Early estimates show that the amount of natural gas required to run the system would cost about half this amount, saving approximately $450,000 annually. Operational savings are also expected from the elimination of chemical costs, which currently run $250,000 per year. “We are committed stewards of our beautiful rivers and ocean,” said Mayor Mike Tracy. “This advanced long-term solution allows us to remain environmentally protective in a fiscally responsible manner.” 06/21/2012

BCN Researcher Awarded $1.8MM for Waste Oils to Fuel and Chemical Pilot

Biorefining Conversions NetworkUniversity of Alberta, Canada's Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN) has announced that Dr. David Bressler has been awarded two grants totaling round $1.8 million to develop a pilot scale thermal conversion facility. The "lipids-to-hydrocarbons" plant will first hydrolyze plant oils and animal fats in water at 250º C to split triglycerides to glycerol and free fatty acids (FFAs). The FFAs are then pyrolyzed at high temperature in an inert (non-oxygen) atmosphere to produce a mix of hydrocarbons from simple methane to C20+ molecules that can include alkanes and alpha olefins, foundation chemicals useful for manufacturing many bio-products through later separation and purification. Unlike other forms of transesterification to create biodiesel, this two-step process requires no catalysts or costly process inputs to produce the deoxygenated fuel and chemical hydrocarbons. The funding now allows Dr. Bressler's team to scale up from its current 1 litre/hour continuous flow bench model to a 50 litre/hour pilot for testing and demonstration by the end of the year. The BCN received $970,000 from the Department of Western Economic Diversification, Government of Canada and $891,522 from Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA). The animal husbandry agency approached the University of Alberta when industry-standard rendering methods for conversion of animal tallow became more costly after 2003 as a result of the "mad cow crisis", with incidence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis, or BSE. BCN is focused on aligning local and global research communities in the area of biorefining conversion technologies, focusing on conversion technologies using a multidisciplinary approach centered on three major conversion themes: thermal, chemical, and biological with a portfolio of research projects spanning these three themes. The BCN is actively seeking academic collaborators and industry partners who share a common interest in shaping the future of biorefining conversions. 06/21/2012

CEC Releases Final CHP Report with Market Assessment for 2011-2030

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a revised report developed for the agency by ICF International, Inc. entitled Combined Heat and Power: Policy Analysis and 2011-2030 Market Assessment. The report was issued as part of the 2012 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Update Proceedings, Docket #12-IEP-01 (CEC-200-2012-002-REV; note: 5 mb file size). Initially released in February 2012, this version of the report incorporates comments received from CEC staff and the public. Per the Abstract: "This report analyzes the potential market penetration of combined heat and power systems in California from 2011 to 2030. This analysis evaluates the potential contribution of new combined heat and power to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as required by the California Global Warming Solutions Act, Assembly Bill 32 (Núñez, Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006). The analysis characterizes the markets, applications, technologies, and economic competition for combined heat and power over the forecast period. A Base Case forecast of future combined heat and power market penetration is developed and assumes a continuation of current trends and energy policies. Two additional scenarios, Medium and High Cases, show the results of the implementation of additional combined heat and power stimulus policies." The document is rich in data regarding California's existing and potential for combined heat and power (CHP), well presented with a wealth of graphics. The report concludes in part that "… under the current policy landscape, CHP will fall well short of the ARB Scoping Plan market penetration target. Additional policy measures, represented in the Medium and High Cases, are needed to raise market penetration up to the Scoping Plan target. The markets for large and small combined heat and power systems have different needs and respond to different types of incentives… Small capacity markets respond to the SGIP, transmission and distribution deferral payments, electric rate increases caused by implementation of the RPS, and CHP system cost reductions over time as the market matures. Large capacity markets respond mainly to the export price. All markets benefit from investment tax credits. Small markets, primarily, are negatively affected by costs associated with cap and trade; large export markets can recover these costs in their contracts or pass them on to the utility." 06/21/2012

Due 07/09/2012: Abstracts for DOE's Renewable Energy Markets 2012 Conference

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Call for Abstracts, seeking short presentations for the September 23-25 Renewable Energy Markets 2012 conference in Washington, D.C. The conference agenda currently consists of numerous sessions with sub-topics that the DOE hopes to fill with speakers. Market Growth Opportunities includes both federal and community green power development examples. Marketing explores ways to work with customer and community perceptions; the Utilities section addresses use of specific renewable resources both RPS and voluntary programs. In Policy and Legal Issues, new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines are discussed that will impact all renewable generators; the intersection of "RINs and RECs" is targeted for discussion, also the concerns regarding ways to develop the long-term contracts requisite to banking requirements. The Purchasers session examines what buyers need to know and what suppliers need to present, while Markets and Trading takes a regional approach, addressing platforms and practices along the eastern seaboard, in PJM, in Texas and in California and the west coast. Conference registration is open and discounted now for Early Birds; presentation of the 2012 Green Power Leadership Awards co-sponsored by the Center for Resource Solutions and the US Environmental Protection Agency will also take place at the conference. An on-line survey format simplifies submission of abstracts for consideration; surveys with 200-words-or-less abstract are due by 5:00 PM PST on July 9, 2012. 06/21/2012

Myriant Receives $25MM under USDA's B&I Loan Guarantee Program

MyriantMassachusetts based green chemistry specialist Myriant has announced a $25 million private bond placement for construction of its 30 million pound per year bio-succinic acid production plant in Lake Providence, Louisiana. $15 million of the bonds are backed by a federal loan guarantee under the US Department of Agriculture's  (USDA) Business & Industry (B&I) Rural Development Loan Guarantee program. The bond placement purchases, managed by Stern Brothers, exceeded the loan guarantee, indicating consumer confidence in the company's development potential. The $25 million in funding was the first under the USDA program for support of bio-based chemicals, and is in addition to a $50 million cooperative agreement with the Department of Energy, and a $10 million grant from the local Lake Providence Port Commission and the Louisiana Department of Transportation. Construction of the new plant is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2013. Myriant's technology platform utilizes biocatalysis of a variety of sugars derived from non-food biomass, to produce bio-sourced foundation chemicals. Succinic acid is used in a wide variety of applications, including the production of polymers, fibers, surfactants, detergents and flavors. The global market for succinic acid is currently estimated at approximately $7.5 billion annually. 06/19/2012

GE Supplies Waste Gas to Energy Turbine System to Japanese Steel Plant

General ElectricGE will supply its robust Frame 9E gas turbine system to the JFE Steel Company Ltd (JFE) for installation in the company's East Japan Iron Works, located in Keiyo Industrial Park east of Tokyo in Chiba City. The combined cycle, multi-fuel 9E gas turbine, along with a GE-designed 9A5 generator and ancillary subsystems, will be integrated into JFE's new 150 megawatt power generation plant in the steel mill by Toshiba Plant Systems and Services Corporation. JFE has also contracted GE for a 15 year parts and service maintenance agreement. The new power plant will primarily convert the mill's own blast furnace and coke oven gases to power; the turbine can accommodate a broad spectrum of fuels including syngas from gasification of oil and coal, natural gas, light and heavy distillate oil, naphtha, crude, residual oil, blast furnace gas, and biofuels. GE's systems are scheduled for delivery in December 2013, to be operational mid-year of 2015. “As one of the world’s leading supplier of gas turbines, we are excited to demonstrate how our heavy duty turbines have the operational flexibility to help JFE and other steel producers effectively deal with their gases that have fluctuating thermal qualities,” said Paul Browning, president and CEO-Thermal Products for GE Energy. 06/19/2012

Due 07/03/2012: Intent to Bid on East Kentucky Power Coop All Source RFP

East Kentucky Power CooperativeThe East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to obtain up to 300 megawatts of power, including but not limited to renewables over 5 megawatts, to be on-line before October 2015. The announcement website has been developed specifically to service two-way communications for this RFP including current questions and answers, a Calendar, and background documentation. Interested parties must file an Intent to Bid by July 3, 2012; the full proposal is due in electronic form by August 30, 2012, with a wet-signed original delivered to EKPC by September 9, 2012. EKPC will consider projects based on Power Purchase Agreements as well as whole or partial facility ownership, covering both new and existing plants delivering conventional or renewable generation. The RFP is available on-line, with an extensive set of forms required for acceptance of submissions. Proposal short-listing is scheduled for early November; agreements are to executed early January 2013. An online information session for parties interested in participating in the RFP will be held on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.  Instructions on how to participate will be posted on the project website as soon as they are available. For more information, email  . 06/19/2012

Due 07/16/2012: Concept Paper to DOE for Advanced Biofuels Biorefineries

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy's (DOE) Funding Opportunity Exchange has posted notice of a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for "Innovative Pilot and Demonstration Scale Production of Advanced Biofuels." The intent of DE-FOA-0000739 (note: large file size) is to "identify, evaluate, and select innovative pilot- or demonstration-scale integrated biorefineries that can produce hydrocarbon fuels that meet military specifications for JP-5 (jet fuel primarily for the Navy), JP-8 (jet fuel primarily for the Air Force), or F-76 (diesel)." A Concept Paper must be submitted by July 16, 2012 and the Final Application is due August 13, 2012. The competitive solicitation seeks "novel and highly innovative" proposals for development of integrated biorefineries utilizing strictly non-food biomass. Acceptable feedstock includes forest health thinning (including form federal lands), biomass segregated from municipal solid waste (including food and yard waste), agricultural crop residues, purpose-grown non-food energy crops, and other wood wastes and residues. Two Topic Areas are defined: (1) design, construct and/or operate an integrated pilot- or demonstration-scale integrated biorefinery using an acceptable lignocellulosic or waste-based feedstock, to produce an acceptable biofuel, or convert carbon dioxide with or without biomass; (2) design, construct and/or operate an integrated pilot- or demonstration-scale integrated biorefinery in order to validate the proposed technology using an acceptable algal type feedstock, to produce an acceptable biofuel. All questions on the FOA must be submitted to  ; questions about the EEREEE Exchange system itself should be addressed to . 06/19/2012

MagneGas Selected by LVI for Two Large Demolition Projects - Cleaner, Faster

MagneGasPlasma waste conversion company MagneGas has announced that its hydrogen-rich metal-cutting fuel MagneGasTM has been selected by LVI Services Inc. for the accelerated demolition of two large power plants in Florida. Headquartered in Tarpon, Florida, MagneGas uses its small-footprint Plasma Arc FlowTM proprietary technology platform to reduce a wide variety of carbon-bearing liquid feedstocks to a synthesis gas, which is compressed, bottled and sold as a fuel gas for metal working operations. The company has successfully raised significant funds through equity placements in 2011 and 2012 and continues to add major customers, expanding its sales territory north and west. LVI is a leading integrated facility services company in the US, providing environmental remediation, demolition, fireproofing and related services for commercial, industrial, multi-family residential and governmental facilities. The company typically uses large quantities of metal cutting fuel gas during industrial demolition projects, and selected MagneGas after successful demonstrations proved it to be cleaner, safer and faster alternative to natural gas or acetylene. Gary Bowman, President of LVI Services, Inc.: "After thorough testing of MagneGas™, we were amazed by the cleanliness of the fuel as well as the speed and precision of its cut. To be able to use MagneGas™ on large demolition projects will allow us to provide our customers with quality and expedited services while keeping our operating costs down." Frank Baldino, Project Manager at LVI added: "We instantly saw a reduction in secondary smoke coming from our torches and there is no other gas on the planet that can cut some of these very large castings, we have found that only MagneGas can." 06/18/2012

Hadfield to Provide Waste Wood to Tilbury Green Power's New Biomass Plant

Tilbury Green PowerTilbury Green Power (TGP) has announced entering into a long-term biomass feedstock supply agreement with Hadfield Wood Recyclers of Manchester. TGP has been approved by the United Kingdom (UK) Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to build a 60 megawatt, 210,000 tonne per year biopower plant at the Tilbury Docks in Essex, expected to be operational in 2015. TPG's sourcing catchment was recently expanded to include recovered wood from Greater London. In addition to sustainable and recovered wood fuels, the project is permitted to use Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) feedstock sourcing catchment was recently expanded to include recovered wood from Greater London; SRF is a fuel produced by removing metal, glass and plastics from commercial and household waste for recycling and then shredding and sorting the remaining materials. Hadfield Wood Recyclers is one of the oldest wood recycling companies in the UK, with more than 30 years in the industry. It has sites in Tilbury, Manchester, and Teesside and recovers 250,000 tonnes of waste wood per year, recycling it into a range of products including animal bedding, arena and play surfaces, panel board feedstock, as well as biomass wood chip. Hadfield is currently relocating its Port of Tilbury yard to a larger site to enable collections from the south of England. Dirk van den Esschert, Director of TGP, said: “We are very pleased to have reached a long-term agreement for the supply of recovered wood and to be working alongside Hadfield. Hadfield have an excellent track record and history and their strong regional presence and reliability makes them an invaluable partner. This is a key step in the delivery of our project which we will be looking to advance in the forthcoming months.” TGP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dutch based Express Energy Holdings UK BV. 06/18/2012

Ford Includes Waste Conversion Programs in 2012 Sustainability Report

Ford Motor CompanyFord Motor Company today announced release of its 13th annual Sustainability 2011/2012 report, called "Blueprint for Sustainability: Accelerating Ahead" and with enough detail to warrant its own website. Among the data are examples of Ford's waste management advances, noting that the company reduced the amount of waste globally that is sent to landfill in 2011 by over 11% from the previous year, and a reduction of almost 40% in the amount of per-vehicle waste generated over the last five years, while five of Ford's European facilities reached zero waste to landfill last year. At the Chicago Assembly Plant and the Michigan Assembly Plant, approximately 174 tons of paint solids were eliminated from landfill and processed as a fuel source in 2011. Ford's Proving Grounds in Romeo, Michigan cardboard, paper, wood and plastic are compressed and sent to an in-state waste to energy facility, completely eliminating the need for the plant to dispose of waste in a landfill. Other Waste Management initiatives providing substantial landfill diversion include the company's Recovered Pain Solids Program, where collected paint overspray is used as fuel by local utilities for power generation. "Using this process, we have recycled 163 tons of paint waste from our Ford Auto Alliance Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, since early 2010. An estimated 163,000 KWh of energy – enough energy to power 20 residential homes for a year – were produced as a direct result of this program." 06/15/2012

CEC Awards $1.8MM to Biodiesel Industries of Ventura for Waste to Energy

California Energy CommissionDuring yesterday's Business Meeting, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved an award of $ 1,829,544 to Biodiesel Industries of Ventura, LLC, a subsidiary of Biodico, Inc, to demonstrate integrated renewable energy technologies for biorefineries. Funding comes from the agency's Public Interest Energy Research Program (PIER; PON-11-501-31, 2011 Emerging Technology Demonstration Grant Program). Biodico has an existing biofuel production testing and demonstration project within the U.S. Navy's Port Huenume's National Environmental Technology Test Site. The three-year work order is intended to further the integration of mechanisms that can support a biorefinery with generation of combined heat and power (CHP), and describes elements to be included in the project as solar cogeneration, anaerobic digestion and small-scale gasification modules. Fuel used includes locally-sourced crop residues and glycerine residuals from Biodico's ARIES© biodiesel production. Carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by the integrated system will be ported to expanded algae ponds on site for conversion into biodiesel feedstock oils and biomass. This funding is intended to address three primary barriers: (1) systems integration and interconnection of the component technologies with the biodiesel production facility and the existing utility infrastructure, (2) use of low environmental impact feedstocks for gasification and AD, and (3) energy, economic and environmental performance of the system, including mass and energy balances. In local press interviews Russell Teall, Biodico's president, described the new project as in a "crawl-walk-run" process. The crawl phase, which received an earlier commission grant, was successful in a laboratory setting. Now the project's at the walk stage. 06/15/2012

Metso Supplies Efficiency Controls for Waste to Energy Plants in Europe

Metso CorporationFinland based Metso Corporation has announced recent orders from CNIM Group for its automated process controls for waste to energy plants in the United Kingdom (UK), Estonia, and Italy. Metso's DNA Automation systems provide centralized control for all facility process controls and plant information systems. CNIM designs and develops turn-key industrial facilities in the industrial fields of energy, environment and defense. The most recent order will automate CNIM's waste to energy plant in North Hykeham, Lincolnshire, UK; the waste-to-energy (WtE) plant is owned by the Lincolnshire County Council and will be operated by the Waste Recycling Group. It will have an electric output of 13.1 MWe and a thermal output option up to 10 MWth. With an annual capacity of 150,000 tons of household and similar waste, and it will provide electricity to around 15,000 houses and the national grid. In Maardu, Estonia, a 17 megawatt electric generation WtE plant owned by Eesti Energia will also generate 50 megawatts of thermal energy, providing district heating to half a million residents. The Turin, Italy plant owned by Trattamento Rifiuti Metropolitani will have a thermal output of 206 MW and an electric output of 56 MWe, converting 421,000 tons of waste annually with three incineration lines and provide electricity to around 150,000 houses and district heating to about 17,000 houses. Metso's systems are to be delivered in September 2012; all of the facilities are scheduled to go on line in 2013. 06/15/2012

Incitor Secures $1.5MM for Biofuels, Biochemicals Demonstration Plant

Incitor IncorporatedNew Mexico based Incitor Incorporated has announced closing of a $1.5 million funding round led by investor Cottonwood Technology Fund. Incitor broke ground on a pilot biofuel plant in April of this year to further develop its patent-pending low-temperature chemical process for conversion of biomass into commodity petrochemical replacements, specialty bio-based chemicals, and Alestron™, an advanced biofuel compatible with both gasoline and diesel. The process can accept a variety of biomass feedstock including agricultural, solid, woody, or algal waste. Incitor's technology platform combines strong acid hydrolysis with dehydration at relatively moderate processing temperatures (100-150° C) to deconstruct biomass, then refines the intermediary products using homogeneous catalysis at ambient temperature. The new funding will help scale up its process to a 15,000-30,000 gallon per year demonstration facility; target product price is about $2 / gallon for fuel, while cutting production costs for important industrial chemicals such as levulinates, formates, and proprionates by about 80%. “We believe Incitor’s unique low cost chemistry brings new economics to the biofuels and biochemicals industries. In addition, their inclusion of alcohols (methanol and ethanol) in their synthetic process creates interesting opportunities to create higher value products from ethanol and natural gas,” said David Blivin, Managing Director of Cottonwood Technology Fund. 06/15/2012

Forest Stewardship Council Certifies Sustainability for Small to Large Forests

Forest Stewardship CouncilThe Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) provides certification for sustainable biomass utilization at both ends of the forest lands management scale according to two announcements released this week. The FSC is an international membership organization focused on best forest management practices, and the development of regional and national standards and certifications. By approving Advisory Note FSC-ADV-50-003 V1-0: Labeling Products from Small and Community Producers, the FSC indicates who is eligible to use the new labeling option to differentiate the relative sustainability of products from non-corporate small businesses and communities. The FSC notes that the goal is to increase consumer recognition and support for small producers by encouraging purchase of their sustainably produced materials. The first products to use the new labeling option are those from the FSC and Fairtrade Dual Certification pilot project. At the opposite end of the scale, Canadian company Resolute Forest Products just announced it has become the largest FSC certified forest lands manager in the world, having completed certification of 3.2 million hectares (7.9 million acres) of forestlands in Quebec to the FSC Boreal Standard. This addition raises the total FSC-certified holdings under Resolute's control to 10.3 million hectares (25.6 million acres) an area "twice the size of Nova Scotia and larger than Portugal, Hungary or South Korea." The FSC is an international certification and labeling system dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world's forests. Co-founded in Canada by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 1993, the FSC works to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests. Certification of sustainability is increasingly required internationally for acceptance of biofuels from conversion of forest-sourced biomass; the US Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) continues to consider biofuels from US national forest-sourced biomass as ineligible, primarily due to concerns over ecological sustainability. 06/14/2012

Waste to Alternative Fuels Projects Receive Lion's Share of CEC Awards

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced over $23 million in awards for green fuels development and of this amount, over $12 million directly addresses conversion of waste to alternative fuels. The awards are from the most recent Assembly Bill (AB) 118 program funding release. Just over $7 million is dedicated to broader research and marketing goals, while $1.6 million will advance use of pipeline and compressed natural gas for vehicle fuel to off-set diesel usage. In this round of awards, Clean World Partners received the largest award of $6 million to increase the capacity of its biorefinery co-located with the Sacramento Recycling and Transfer Station from demonstration scale of 25 tons of food waste processing per day, to 100 tons per day. EdeniQ, based in Visalia in Tulare County, will receive $3.9 million to further the company's highly collaborative development of processes integral to production of cellulosic ethanol. San Diego's Kent BioEnergy and partners will get about $1.5 million for producing fermentable sugars from microalgae grown on brackish water and fed waste-derived nutrients. North Star Biofuels intends to use its $500,000 award to develop waste oil to biodiesel production and blending capabilities in Watsonville. Finally, US Forest Service and UC Davis' Institute for Transportation Studies (ITS) efforts toward forest-sourced biomass residual conversion to alternative fuels received $362,000 and $227,000 respectively. The Forest Service funding augments an existing $1.5 million project and will enable a much closer research collaboration with the ITS. AB 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007) created the CEC's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The statute, subsequently amended by AB 109 (Núñez, Chapter 313, Statutes of 2008), authorizes the Energy Commission to develop and deploy alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies to help attain the state's climate change policies. The CEC has an annual program budget of approximately $100 million to support alternative fuels projects. 06/13/2012

Ballina Biochar and WtE Project Receives $4.25MM from Australia Fund

AustraliaThe Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) has announced Round Two awards in support of priority capital infrastructure projects identified by local communities for the Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria areas of the country. Among the New South Wales projects receiving federal support is the Ballina Biochar and Waste to Energy (WtE) Project involving construction of a slow pyrolysis biomass processing plant for conversion of locally-sourced organic residues into biochar and electricity. The Ballina Shire Council will receive $4.25 million to develop the plant at its Ballina Waste management Centre using Australian-developed technology. The council missed an award from Round One of the RDAF funding, but secured the necessary matching funds and was successful in its Round Two application; the $8.5 million total project is expected to be completed mid-year 2015. The Honorable Simon Crean, Minister for Regional Australia, lauded the Council's persistence and the government's initiative: "... the whole purpose in putting a price on carbon is to encourage better environmental behaviour; to reward good environmental behaviour. And if what we can do is to encourage people to see the opportunity to not just convert waste to energy, to lower greenhouse emissions – in other words, to get rid of the landfill issues – but to actually sell it into the grid, they make money from it. So instead of people talking about this 'great new big tax', let's have a focus on the benefits from developing a price on carbon." 06/13/2012

UL Environment Launches Validation Service for Landfill Diversion Claims

UL EnvironmentalExpanding upon its Environmental Claim Validation service, UL Environment has announced that it is now offering third party auditing and validation for three levels of diversion from landfill of a company's waste. UL's "Zero Waste to Landfill" validation recognizes firms who have implemented programs that effectively divert 100% of the waste they generate from landfill disposal. Firms attaining 98% or greater are ranked as "Virtually Zero Waste to Landfill", while those achieving a diversion rate of 80% or better qualify for "Landfill Diversion" validation. To earn a claim validation mark, companies must undergo an extensive, two-part, UL-led audit, which includes document evaluation and onsite visits. Each claim validation mark clearly indicates the facility's specific rate of landfill diversion. Facilities whose landfill waste diversion claims have been validated by UL Environment are audited annually and featured in UL Environment's Sustainable Products Database. Conversion of waste to energy is among the programs that UL recognizes as valid methods for a company to increase landfill diversion of waste. Sara Greenstein, president of UL Environment: "With more businesses undertaking waste reduction initiatives, there is a growing need for meaningful, third-party validation of landfill waste diversion claims. UL Environment is excited to introduce this claim validation service to companies that want to quantify and qualify their efforts. Additionally, the trusted UL Environmental Claim Validation mark, which companies may feature in their marketing materials, helps companies communicate and promote their facilities' waste reduction accomplishments clearly and confidently." 06/13/2012

Gazasia Secures $150MM Equity for Waste to Biofuels in the Philippines

GazasiaUnited Kingdom based biogas upgrading specialists Gazasia has announced an equity investment of $150 million from Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc (AEV) to develop landfill biogas to liquid transport fuels in the Philippines. The agreement was signed in London with Philippine President Benigno Aquino attending. Aboitiz is a long-standing holding company in the Philippines with interests in energy, food and financial services. Gazasia was established with the specific aim of bringing technologic solutions to South East Asia, focused on greenhouse gas and other air quality improvements, transport fuels production and proper waste management; the company has expertise in cleaning and upgrading both landfill-sourced and digester sourced biogas. The funding will allow Gazasia to extract, clean and upgrade, and then liquefy landfill-sourced biomethane to create clean-burning methanol vehicle fuel. “The impact of higher vehicle fuel prices has been especially severe in South East Asia,” says Richard Lilleystone, CEO of Gazasia. “Public transport is essential to the workforce. Rising fuel costs have a direct impact on transport costs and food prices, which of course has the greatest impact on those least able to afford it.” 06/12/2012

Montauk, NY Joins Fishing for Energy Partnership for Recycling and Recovery

Fishing for EnergyCovanta Energy announced that in honor of World Oceans Day, the Long Island port of Montauk, New York has joined the novel public-private collaboration, Fishing for Energy. In 2008, Covanta partnered with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the national Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, and Schnitzer Steel to launch the novel Fishing for Energy program. The effort is focused on the collection of old maritime gear for metal recycling with the help of Gershow Recycling and conversion of the rest to energy at Covanta's Hempstead Energy-from-Waste facility; since initiation, the effort has collected and processed more than 1.5 million pounds of old fishing related materials. The program aids commercial fishermen by cutting disposal costs for worn-out nets, ropes, line and other gear, while also encouraging collection and removal of derelict netting and equipment lost to the marine environment. Deborah Klughers, an East Hampton Town Trustee: "I’ve wanted to bring this program to Montauk since I heard about it a few years ago. There are piles of unwanted fishing gear around Montauk and East Hampton, and having a cost effective way to dispose if it will help the local fishing community while beautifying the Town. This partnership will not only allow fishers to dispose of gear they don’t want, but they can also bring in derelict gear they find while at sea and dispose of that as well. Recycling benefits us all. Fishing for Energy is a great way to help the environment by recycling unwanted fishing gear into energy and teach the community alternative ways to recycle.” 06/12/2012

DARPA Awards $8MM to Amyris under "Living Foundries" Program

AmyrisCalifornia's integrated renewable fuels and chemicals company Amyris has announced that it has been awarded a contract from the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to advance its industrial synthetic biology platform under the federal agency's "Living Foundries" initiative. The $8 million in new funding will enhance Amyris' ability to expand its metabolic engineering across cell types, biological systems integration, and industrial applications. The DARPA released a competitive solicitation last September for “innovative proposals to develop new tools, technologies and methodologies to transform biology into an engineering practice, speeding the biological design-build-test cycle and expanding the complexity of systems that can be engineered.” Amyris has aggressively developed diverse avenues based in its No Compromise® synthetic biology platform to address pharmaceutical, health and food products, biochemical and biofuels applications, including development of isoprenes, the chemical building block in rubber tires and other products that use synthetic and natural rubbers, marketed under the brand BioFeneTM. The company has partnered extensively in biofuels, focusing on both to-specific biodiesel and jet fuel. “Amyris’s cutting edge technology platform has been used to produce a life-saving anti-malarial drug as well as renewable fuels and chemicals. In support of DARPA’s ‘Living Foundries’ program, we will leverage our technology expertise to develop improved DNA assembly and rapid integration across complex biological platforms,” said John Melo, Amyris President & CEO. 06/12/2012

EPA Region 9 Launches Online Waste to Biogas Mapping Tool

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Region 9 (Pacific Southwest) has announced the launch of an online "waste to biogas" mapping tool in support of the conversion of organic wastes and residuals into renewable energy. The interactive database-linked map covers Arizona, California, and Nevada, and allows identification of organic waste and residue sources, and identification of facilities that could convert such wastes into biogas. This allows food waste generators such as supermarket chains, large restaurants, and hotels to connect with anaerobic digestion (AD) system owners, and helps dairies and wastewater treatment plant operators considering upgrades for digester in-feed inclusion of fats, oils and grease (FOG), food waste and other biodegradable waste to determine the scale and distance to clusters of feedstock sources. The database includes energy estimates for wastewater treatment plant digesters, both those that incorporate FOG and food waste and those that do not. The announcement highlights East Bay Municipal Utility District's FOG/food waste digestion demonstration, with findings that food waste holds up to three times as much biogas energy generating potential as sewage biosolids digestion. “This innovative mapping tool, the first of its kind in the nation, helps restaurants, hotels and other food waste generators to connect with large energy producers,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Harvesting this energy prevents waste from ending up in landfills or clogging sewer lines.” 06/11/2012

Scotland's Outer Hebrides Gets Community Funding for Renewable Energy

Highlands and Islands EnterpriseThe European economic development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has launched a new funding mechanism to support projects in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. The Outer Hebrides Community Energy Fund (OHCEF) has been established by HIE in collaboration with the non-profit renewable energy charity Community Energy Scotland (CES) and LEADER, a part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme. The eighteen month £259,985 grant program supports community-led renewable energy and energy efficiency feasibility assessments and income-generating projects that contribute to community sustainability. OHCEF will be managed and administered by CES, offering communities the chance to win a grant of up to a maximum of £30,000. Jane MacIntosh, Head of Strengthening Communities at HIE, said: " The Outer Hebrides Community Energy Fund is designed to help communities assess the viability of renewable energy projects, which could in turn directly benefit the areas they serve both in terms of saving money and generating income. Climate change and rising fuel costs will mean a greater dependency on renewable energy sources but there is also a need for individuals and organizations to be more efficient in their use of energy and energy conservation. Any communities that are interested in the fund should go online to register their interest." For more information about the fund and how to apply, see the OHCEF website. 06/11/2012

NIB Funds Haldor Topsøe's Catalysis Research for Efficient Biofuels Production

Haldor TopsøeThe Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has announced a commitment of DKK 250 million (EUR 33 million) to support Danish company Haldor Topsøe A/S' research and development (R&D) of catalysts and catalytic technologies, aimed primarily at efficient production of clean fuels and power generation. The research is also focused on direct conversion of cellulosic biomass into fuels and green foundation chemicals. The NIB is a triple-A credit-rated financial institution service the eight Nordic and Baltic countries with long-term access to capital. Haldor Topsøe has created the Topsoe Catalysis Forum to facilitate non-confidential, open dialogue on catalytic advancements; spun off from the main catalysis research is the subsidiary Topsoe Fuel Cell, developing a combined heat and power (CHP) solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) in an alliance for manufacturing and deployment with SK Holdings, South Korea's third largest company. NIB will finance Topsoe's catalytic R&D, Henrik Normann, NIB President and CEO: “Haldor Topsøe’s research and development investment, which aims at lower levels of harmful emissions, is a very good example of a project that fulfils NIB’s mandate. This investment will help improve the environment and kick start innovation in a variety of industries.” 06/11/2012

Topell Energy Secures €13 million for Torrefaction Commercialization

Topell EnergyThe Netherlands leading torrefaction systems developer Topell Energy has announced a successful funding round led by its existing primary investor Innogy Capital, securing €13 million to advance commercialization of biomass torrefaction. The company concurrently has signed a new partnership agreement with United Kingdom based TorfTech, makers of the TORBED® compact and expanded bed thermal reactors used by Topell Energy. The reactors enable high-efficiency contact between gases and solids; low-value biomass processed in the TORBED reactor is "torrefied", or thermally converted to feedstock for combustion or gasification that is homogeneous and has a high energy density. The Torbed® reactor consists of an empty cylindrical reactor chamber where a rotating and high-speed flow of process gas entrains the raw material, carrying it in suspension on a "bed". This extremely turbulent environment creates a very intense contact between the hot process gas and the feed material, yielding a highly efficient and quick heat-to-mass transfer. Jules Kortenhorst, appointed CEO of Topell Energy earlier this year, explains: ”Nature provides a wide diversity of biomass, which is not directly suitable as an energy source. Topell’s proprietary torrefaction technology transforms the low-grade biomass into a homogenous and energy-dense fuel, which is suitable for combustion and gasification applications. The additional financing will allow us to ramp up production at our commercial-scale demonstration plant in the Netherlands and to rapidly grow our business through the sale of additional plants." 06/11/2012

California's Proposed AB 2390 Would Boost Community-Scale Biopower

California State CapitolCalifornia Assembly member Wesley Chesbro's Assembly Bill AB 2390 reached the Senate this week, after introduction of the proposed legislation last February. AB 2390 as amended passed the Assembly on a 63 to 3 vote. The bill would direct the Energy Commission in consultation with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) to establish an incentive program to support the maximum production and collection of eligible forest-sourced biomass as feedstock to fuel community-scaled bioenergy generation plants. Eligible feedstock is restricted to woody biomass (such as shrubs, limbs and small trees) from "prudent thinning and fire prevention activities" from areas that the CDF considers high to medium priority landscapes at risk to wildfire. The woody biomass must be removed from the forest under a forest fuel reduction and fire prevention program that has already been certified as compliant with either the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) or the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) or both. It must then be taken to a "community-scaled biomass facility," defined as an electrical generation plant fueled by biomass, with a generation capacity under 3 megawatts (MWe). Proponents argue the bill is justified due to the high cost of wildfire prevention and fire-related loss, which includes risks and costs to the electrical utility infrastructure. Opponents, including Southern California Edison, argue that the bill needs a specified funding source, and constitutes an inappropriate technology-specific carve-out benefiting biopower above other generation mechanisms. After the Senate's first reading, the bill has been passed to the Committee on Rules for assignment. 06/09/2012

Clean World Partners Constructs Food Waste Digester in South Sacramento

Clean World PartnersSacramento-based renewable energy development company Clean World Partners announced the start of construction of its Organic Waste Recycling Center, a two stage, phased-solids anaerobic digestion facility with an integrated biogas vehicle filling station. The technology was developed at UC Davis primarily by Dr. Ruihong Zhang and trialed adjacent to the campus treatment plant by Onsite Power Systems (OPS). The plant is being built at the County of Sacramento's South Area Transfer Station, and will initially process 25 tons per day of food waste, converting the organics to biogas. Atlas Disposal will collect the food waste from area restaurants, food processors, and supermarkets. The cleaned and upgraded biogas will then help fuel the disposal company's fleet of trucks, along with other area agency vehicles, replacing about one million gallons of diesel fuel per year. After the first year of optimization, the company plans to expand the facility to process around 100 tons per day of the local organics. The company hosted an Open House at its Natomas AD facility in the northern Sacramento area in April of this year, digesting about 8 tons per day of locally sourced organic waste and residues and providing power to American River Packaging's Sacramento Headquarters. The South Transfer Station plant is expected to be operational later this year. “Our development of this facility makes clear the viability of this technology,” said Michele Wong, CEO of Clean World Partners. “Our systems are adaptable to a wide range of situations and we can get them up and running quickly. We’re especially excited with this center about the use of renewable natural gas as vehicle fuel.” 06/09/2012

Viridor Consults Public on Glasgow Recycling & Renewable Energy Centre

ViridorUnited Kingdom waste management and resource recovery firm Viridor has announced the start of an extended public consultation campaign for its proposed redevelopment of the Polmadie waste treatment plant. Viridor successfully bid toward the City of Glasgow's 2011 Zero Waste Complex offer, with a plan to "radically overhaul" the long-established Polmadie facility to process 200,000 tonnes per year of the community's green bin organic and recyclable residuals. The city-wide waste segregation scheme utilizes green, brown, blue, and purple bin collection. Viridor currently maintains offices and operates a materials recovery facility (MRF) and transfer station in Bargeddie on the eastern edge of Glasgow. The detailed plans for the £154 million Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC) were distributed to around 16,000 residents, as part of a three month consultation program. The new plant is expected to deliver a cost savings to the city and its residents of around £254 million over the 25-year contract period, while reducing about 90,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from reduced landfilling, production of recyclates and generation of renewable energy. Steven Don, Scottish Regional Manager for Viridor: “As we embark on the community consultation for the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre, we are committed, with the council, to keeping local people informed on our plans... The purpose of this project is to serve Glasgow’s population and provide a positive environmental and economic legacy by getting green bin waste sorted. As such we look forward to working with the local community, to hearing their views and to welcoming them to the public consultation events in June.” 06/09/2012

Enerkem Starts Waste to Biofuel Production at Quebec Demo Plant

EnerkemCanadian gasification specialist Enerkem has announced the start of ethanol production from waste at its Westbury, Quebec demonstration facility. The Westbury plant already converts cellulosic waste to methanol; newly installed equipment is now capable of producing ethanol from the methanol product. Over eleven years, Enerkem has developed its proprietary multi-step waste conversion platform for production of methanol, and form this, various alcohols and acrylates (green chemical intermediaries). Work began at the Sherbrooke pilot plant and continues at the Westbury demonstration-scale facility. The process begins with air-blown gasification to produce a synthesis gas rich in hydrogen and carbon monoxide; the syngas is cleaned and upgraded before undergoing catalytic synthesis. The Demonstration plant's purpose is to test a variety of waste types as feedstock prior to scale-up to full commercial production. “The start of ethanol production at our Westbury facility is a significant milestone”, said Vincent Chornet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enerkem. “Enerkem has already produced cellulosic ethanol at its smaller scale pilot laboratory facility in Sherbrooke. This new achievement in Westbury allows us to confirm the process design of our proprietary methanol-to-ethanol technology for its deployment at Enerkem’s full-scale commercial plants in Edmonton and other locations.” 06/08/2012

Presentations Online from CalRecycle's "Digesting Urban Organic Residuals"

CalRecycleThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has posted speaker's presentations from its Digesting Urban Organics Residuals (DUOR) forum held May 30, 2012 in Sacramento. The forum was well-attended by both municipal  and industrial waste management / resource recovery representatives, and presentations were nicely tailored to the technically savvy, professional audience. Highlights included an excellent description by Emily Hanson of the City of San Jose's integrated multi-tech developments centered around Zero Waste EnergyDevelopment Company's dry fermentation SmartFerm technology. Don Gray with the East Bay Municipal Utility District made sense of the years of advanced wastewater treatment digester augmentation with food waste, fats oils and grease. Joerg Blinschke outlined Toronto, Canada's integration of green bin collection and AD operations. An afternoon panel on Project Economics and Financing with Tim Raibley, HDR, and Lori Ranieri, Government Financial Strategies, helped with an overview and analysis of funding mechanisms. The afternoon agenda wrapped up with discussions of product and by-product use. A surprise presentation by Kamal Ahuja with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) brought the welcome news that the CARB's Low Carbon Fuel Standard program has analyzed a key High Solids Anaerobic Digestion (HSAD) pathway to biofuel, and proposes a Carbon Intensity (CI) value of NEGATIVE 14.84 g CO2e/MJ. The DUOR program web page contains a participant's roster, additional background material and Fact Sheets that were provided to participants. 06/07/2012

GoBiGas Biomass Gasification Demo Plant Under Construction in Sweden

Göteborg EnergiWestern Sweden's leading energy company, Göteborg Energi, has provided a short video (with English subtitles) as the first in a series showing construction of the first stage of the GoBiGas plant in the Rya harbor in Gothenburg, Sweden. Using the Repotec gasification platform, Finland-based Metso Corporation is building the $195 million GoBiGas demonstration plant to validate production of 20 megawatt electrical (MWe) equivalent of pipeline quality biogas primarily for transportation and industrial use, with an additional 11 MW thermal energy for district heating and heat pump supply. The project was placed under contract early last year; the video shows infrastructure in place and walls being erected. Commentary places the development in context of Sweden's determination that its core transport sector become fossil-fuel free. Metso licenses the Repotec technology platform for biomass gasification and subsequent syngas methanization. The steam-blown fluidized-bed gasifier creates a nitrogen-free, and low-tar producer gas with high calorific value well suited for power and heat generation as well as synthetic products (Fischer-Tropsch diesel, synthetic natural gas, etc.). This wood pellet fueled process was jointly developed with the Technical University of Vienna and has been successfully proven in the combined heat and power (CHP) plant Güssing. In a presentation before the SGC international Seminar on Gasification in Malmö Sweden last October, Göteborg Energi explained how the cleaned syngas was expected to be ready for injection pipeline into the four bar pressure natural gas grid from the Phase 1 large scale demonstration plant by 2013, then progressively scaled up through 2020. 06/07/2012

Citizens in the United Kingdom Will Soon Know Where the Recycling Goes

Resource AssociationThe Resource Association, the United Kingdom's recycling industry organization, announced the official launch today of a voluntary recycling industry charter to provide the public with a clearer picture of where their recycled materials ultimately end up. With the support of the government's Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC), the association will work to improve the transparency surrounding end destinations for goods segregated from the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream. The aim of the public/private initiative is to "raise awareness and understanding, improve public confidence in the recycling process, and increase participation in recycling schemes." Results of a national survey indicated that few people knew where recycled goods would end up and what could be made from them, while most desired that more detail be made publicly available. Signatories to the Charter commit to accounting, with publication at least annually of a Register of End Destinations of Recyclates covering materials collected and providing names and locations of the final reprocessing points, whether in the UK or abroad. “The public has shown its support for recycling – recent reports from Defra and DoE in Northern Ireland (showing recycling rates of 42.5% and 42.8%) demonstrate that we have more than quadrupled household recycling in just over ten years. There is, however, a strong appetite for more information about what happens beyond the point of collection and evidence suggests that better understanding could help to maintain and increase this support,” says Ray Georgeson, chief executive of the Resource Association. Full text of the "End Destinations of Recycling Charter" is available on-line, with excerpted Findings answering the basic question, "Where Does the Recycling Go?" 06/07/2012

BIOX Secures New York Harbor Site for 26 Million GPY Biodiesel Plant

BIOX CorporationCanadian biodiesel producer BIOX Corporation has signed agreements with International-Matex Tank Terminals (IMTT), owners of a 600 acre New York Harbor shipping terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey. The definitive long-term lease agreements secure 3.5 acres for the plant and additionally the needed storage infrastructure for development of BIOX's second commercial facility, with a design production scale of 100 million litres (26.42 million gallons) per year. The BIOX biodiesel production process differs from industry-standard transesterification, separating free fatty acid (FFA) conversion from triglyceride conversion and providing full recovery and recycling of methanol and co-solvents. The process coverts feedstocks ranging from pure seed oils to animal fats to recovered vegetable oils. The company began with a I million litre test facility to validate the technology platform, then designed, constructed and began operations of its 67 million litre plant in Hamilton, Ontario Canada in 2007. The new plant design and construction cost is estimated to be about $60 million, to be derived from existing and projected cash flow and debt financing. Kevin Norton, CEO of BIOX Corporation: "IMTT is an ideal partner for our next facility. We have been working with them for more than five years using their Bayonne terminal as a distribution and blending site for product produced in Hamilton. Based on that long-standing relationship, we have already conducted the early stage planning for this next facility including the design tie-ins and site specifications prior to signing these agreements. We are now proceeding ahead with the detailed planning and permitting phase with the expectation that construction will be completed in December 2013." 06/06/2012

Dynamic Energy Licenses Pyrolysis for Texas Tire to Fuel Energy Campus

Dynamic Energy Alliance CorporationMemphis based Dynamic Energy Alliance Corporation (DEAC) has announced that its wholly-owned intellectual property subsidiary Dynamic Energy IP, LLC has signed definitive agreements for exclusive world-wide licensing rights to pyrolytic technology from R.F.B., LLC of Prairie Village, Kansas. DEAC's licensed pyrolysis systems are the "Pyrol-A" first step in development of a three-part "Pyrol Black Energy Campus" on a 15-acre parcel near Ennis, Texas.  This component will convert scrap tire shreds into pyrolysis oil, carbon char, and steel. The Carbon-B second step will clean and upgrade the carbon char from the pyrolysis first stage into commodity-grade carbon black, using existing operations at the site. In the final "Petrol-C" stage, DEAC will clean and upgrade the pyrolytic oil into products as alternatives to standard petroleum processing, utilizing processes the company is currently completing prior to patent filing. Charles R. Cronin, Jr., Chairman of Dynamic Energy Alliance Corporation, stated: "We expect this technology to play a crucial role in optimizing our production of a group of specific compounds that are of particular value to our Company, and it will further reduce what little waste occurs during the overall pyrolysis process. Utilizing this R.F.B. technology, we believe, will help lower the total capital cost of the pyrolysis manufacturing facilities envisioned in our business plan." 06/06/2012

Xebec Receives $2MM Purchase Order for Hydrogen Purification System

XebecCanadian gas cleaning and upgrading company Xebec has announced a CAD $2.05 million purchase order for its H-3200 fast-cycle Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) hydrogen (H2) purification unit. The purchaser is the South Korean company Deok-Yang Company, Ltd. for conversion of previously vented H2-rich emissions into product hydrogen. Xebec's proprietary advancements over standard PSA technology provide fast-cycle rotary valve technology which reduces wear on adsorptive media and speeds total processing, while maintaining compact size in a modular and scalable design. Last month, Xebec completed testing cleaning and upgrading of landfill gas using a multiple stage PSA designed for high nitrogen and oxygen level reduction in the product synthetic fuel gas. In March 2012, Xebec entered into an agreement with Air Products, transferring intellectual property and certain laboratory assets in exchange for an infusion of working capital, while retaining rights to continue doing business with its technologies. The unit will be installed in Yeo-su, South Korea in the first quarter of 2013. “Deok-Yang has canvassed the marketplace and has chosen the Xebec H-3200 PSA for its cost competitiveness, robust operation, simplicity and high performance. The hydrogen demand in South Korea is about 8.2% of the world demand. South Korea is, without doubt, one of the world’s leading green technology countries,” said Graham Robson, Vice President Asian/Pacific Operations of Xebec. “We are pleased to cooperate with South Korea’s top hydrogen supplier and expect significant growth in this region.” 06/06/2012

DSM Enzymes for Cellulosic Ethanol Passes Tests in DONG Energy-Inbicon Trials

Royal DSMNetherlands' materials science company Royal DSM has announced that trials of its cellulosic ethanol enzyme package have been successfully completed in DONG Energy - Inbicon's 1.5 million gallon per year demonstration-scale biorefinery in Kalundborg, Denmark. The testing confirmed efficacy of DSM's thermally-stabile enzymatic products to degrade and convert the cellulose and hemicellulose in wheat straw for subsequent fermentation of the sugars into ethanol. In January, DSM nudged out Novozymes to become the enzyme provider for POET's biomass pre-treatment prior to cellulosic ethanol production. Last December, DONG Energy's subsidiary Inbicon selected US based offices of Poyry and Harris Group for North American cellulosic ethanol market development. Jan Larsen, head of R&D Inbicon, says: “The DSM enzyme cocktail has performed successfully in the Inbicon process at demonstration scale. It showed the same high yield as was obtained in pilot scale. This cocktail has both a broad pH range and high temperature tolerance which make DSM’s enzymes very favorable for industrial production of cellulosic bio-ethanol at high dry matters. The technical reports and analysis from the test program are now finalized and we conclude that the DSM enzymes are now qualified for the Inbicon process." 06/06/2012

Flint Hills Becomes Customer After Investing in EdeniQ in Joint Relationship

EdeniQBased in Visalia, California, EdeniQ has announced that Flint Hills Resources ethanol-producing Renewables division will now become a customer and as well as an investor in what the companies describe as a joint development relationship. Flint Hills Resources is a leading producer and marketer of transportation fuels with investments in second generation biofuels development companies including EdeniQ. The California company EdeniQ has developed an integrated line of "bolt-on" biofuels processing enhancements that increase efficiencies and production rates for ethanol, biodiesel and other advanced biofuels facilities. The firm's CellunatorTM micro-milling system increases surface area and speeds reactions; other proprietary tools encompass enzymatic hydrolysis, liquefaction, fermentation and distillation described as the EdeniQ PathwayTM platform, and are primarily intended as retrofit on existing ethanol facilities. Flint Hills intends to incorporate this platform over time into existing facilities, expanding capabilities into cellulosic, non-food ethanol production. EdeniQ is about to formally open a demonstration-scale production facility in Visalia for conversion of cellulosic feedstock into low-cost cellulosic sugars and cellulosic ethanol. The company recently announced success in raising over $30 million in additional funding; the investment round was led by existing investors, adding as new investor Flint Hills Resources Renewables, LLC. 06/05/2012

Purdue Researchers: Fast Pyrolysis to H2Bioil Close to Economical

Purdue UniversityThe Purdue University Newsroom reports that a research team led by Rakesh Agrawal has successfully developed a fast pyrolysis technology platform for production of biofuels that appears it can be cost-effective at production scale. "H2Bioil" is a high-energy bio-crude produced from thermal conversion of non-food cellulosic biomass in a pressurized hydrogen atmosphere. The approach allows small-footprint modules to incorporate hydrodeoxygenation (HDO), increasing the fuel's energy density substantially when compared to other bio-oil production methods. The team is now working on perfecting the catalysts needed for the conversion process in preparation for commercial scale-up. An economic analysis was modeled and published in Biomass Conversion and Biorefining late last year on their work, finding the processing was economical when oil prices are around $100 per barrel, depending heavily on cost effective hydrogen production. "We're in the ballpark," said Wally Tyner, Purdue's James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics. "In the past, I have said that for biofuels to be competitive, crude prices would need to be at about $120 per barrel. This process looks like it could be competitive when crude is even a little cheaper than that." The US Department of Energy and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research funded the research. Agrawal and his team received a U.S. patent for the conversion process. 06/05/2012

Five Industry Leaders Form Collaborative for 100% Plant-Based Plastics (PET)

Plant PET Technology CollaborativeFive international corporate leaders have announced formation of a new collaborative focused on accelerating the development and use of 100% plant-based plastics and fibers. The Plant PET Technology Collaborative (PTC) founding members include the Coca-Cola Company, the Ford Motor Company, H.J. Heinz Company, NIKE, and Proctor & Gamble. The collaborative is building on the success of Coke's PlantBottle introduction last month and licensed by Heinz for bottling some of its ketchup; this would expand use of the biomass-sourced polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into a wide variety of products including plastic bottles, apparel, footwear and automotive fabric and carpet. "Fossil fuels like oil have significant impacts to the planet's biodiversity, climate and other natural systems," said Erin Simon, Senior Program Officer of Packaging for World Wildlife Fund (WWF). "Sustainably managing our natural resources and finding alternatives to fossil fuels are both business and environmental imperatives. It's encouraging to see these leading companies use their market influence to reduce dependence on petroleum-based plastics. We hope other companies will follow their lead." 06/05/2012

USDA Announces Committee to Advise on New Forest Planning Rule Roll-Out

US Forest ServiceThe Forest Service has announced the selection of 21 members to serve on the National Advisory Committee for implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule (Forest Planning Rule). Members were chosen for broad societal representation from 224 applications, submitted from 34 states; member names and contact information is available on-line. The Committee is established under the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA); committee meetings for the Planning Rule FACA are open to the public. Members will advise the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chief of the US Forest Service with recommendations on how to foster an effective ongoing collaborative framework to ensure engagement of federal, state, local and Tribal governments; private organizations, and affected interests; the scientific community; and other stakeholders, and how to integrating the land management planning process with landscape scale restoration activities through implementation of the planning rule. This level of collaborative activity is new to the Forest Service and impacts all levels of planning under the new Rule. Coupled with the 23 funded Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) programs, the US now has the framework established for sustainable forest management including biomass extraction and utilization. 06/05/2012

EPA's 2012 SBIR Phase 1 Awards Support Four Bioenergy Research Projects

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced twenty-five Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase 1 awards totaling over $2 million, with each grantee receiving up to $80,000. Of these, four FY2012 awards supported Sustainable Biomass Utilization for small-scale waste to energy, biogas siloxane removal, enhanced pipeline drying for ethanol, and a fast and cost effective method of removing excess moisture from biomass for more stable storage, handling and processing. Fluidic microControls, Inc. (FmC) of Savanna Illinois will further develop a 10 kilowatt Rankin cycle system to provide combined heat and power generation and heat recovery capabilities for slam-scale applications. NEI Corporation and the engineering firm Kennedy Jenks will develop nano-material based drop-in subsystems designed to remove siloxane from landfill gas and digester biogas. Compact Membrane Systems, Inc. proposed a simple membrane system for cost effective removal of water from ethanol to aid in pipeline delivery. Altex Technologies of Santa Clara California will advance its method of conditioning biomass for liquid water extraction, combined with use of superheated steam to complete moisture removal. Altex' proposal refers to initial analysis that shows this path for pre-treatment of lignocellulosic biomass can reduce the total thermal energy requirement when converting to bioenergy or biofuels by 65%. Phase I awardees successfully completing the five-month grant scope of work are eligible to apply for the larger Phase II awards. EPA's application acceptance period for the FY 2013 SBIR grants just closed on May 3, 2012. 06/04/2012

Governor's Office Supports Plasco Salinas Valley Waste Gasification Project

Plasco Energy GroupThe June 1, 2012 letter from Governor Jerry Brown's Executive Secretary Nancy McFadden to Plasco Energy Group has essentially rescinded the rescission notice sent to Plasco last week by CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen. According to the letter, the Governor will support legislation this session to allow the Plasco Salinas Valley Project to proceed as a pilot, and to remain an eligible renewable energy generation facility under the state laws governing the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). The letter also shows support for the CalRecycle's efforts to "develop alternative policies for waste to energy in California", including development of a "technology-neutral, feedstock-based performance standard" en lieu of the existing PRC § 40117 "gasification" definition. Discussion with the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority (SVSWA) indicates the CalRecycle is working on and will soon release an Open Letter to stakeholders about this feedstock-based approach. Given the concurrent and contentious development of implementation plans for AB 341, many questions about restrictions upon that conversion feedstock supply remain to be explored. McFadden's letter will be brought before the SVSWA's Board this week for review and consideration. 06/04/2012

Los Angeles County Proposes New Waste Hierarchy for AB 341 Roll-Out

Los Angeles County Integrated Waste Management Task ForceThe Los Angeles County Integrated Waste Management Task Force has proposed an alternative to the waste hierarchy presented in the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)  draft report "California's New Goal: 75 Percent Recycling." The draft report was released May 9, 2012 for comment and outlines the CalRecycle's proposed implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 341, Chesbro. Solid waste: diversion. It is important to note that the CalRecycle's report labels the goal as "Recycling", where the actual bill language identifies "Diversion", a broader mandate. The final report is due for presentation to the Legislature by January 1, 2014, and the the CalRecycle has been holding stakeholder workshops to solicit input. AB 341 requires that California increase mandated landfill diversion rates from the current 50% to 75% by 2020. The state's draft strategy stresses use of a "more intellectually honest definition of recycling" to better quantify tonnage and fate of materials diverted from landfilling, and with this understanding, help re-define the hierarchy of waste management as initially established in the Integrated Waste Management Act (AB 939). The report identifies certain "landfill related practices" such as use of waste derived fuel for energy generation as an example of what should NOT be included in future recycling counts. LA County's letter points out that the CalRecycle's plans do not include use of clean Conversion Technologies (CTs) for in-state recovery and return of materials to the supply chain, while ignoring the negative socio-economic and environmental impacts of shipping such materials  overseas, an activity that would remain acceptable as "recycling." The CalRecycle draft counts as a primary policy driver to "Reduce dependence on oil by increasing in-state production of bioenergy/biofuel", yet fails to include provisions for use of CTs to accomplish that conversion. The LA Task Force suggests instead, the following order of preference for waste management: (1) Source Reduction and extended producer responsibility (most desirable); (2) Recycling, (3) Composting; (4) Conversion Technologies; (5) Waste to energy, and (6) Landfills (least desirable). The state intends to continue receiving stakeholder input over the next 18 months prior to submission of a Final report to the Legislature, and provides a Public Comment Form to facilitate input. 06/03/2012. Updated 06/04/2012

Culinary Software Services Releases Food Waste Tracking Software

Culinary Software ServicesColorado based Culinary Software Services has announced release of ChefTec Waste Tracking Module TM (WTM) to aid restaurants in accurately analyzing and tracking each element of food in their establishments through processing to disposal. Combined with the company's exiting automatic ordering capabilities, the new module can help manage over-purchasing and food wastage associated with excess perishable supplies. The increased tracking capacity allows managers to determine exactly what is being discarded, why and what quantities, and to associate the wastage with the cost of various methods of disposal. The WTM separates by work station and employee shift, and allows identification of loss reasons (burnt, dropped, expired, damaged, spoiled, etc.), method of disposal (dumpster, grinding/sewering, pulping, composting, donation). Automated reporting simplifies long-term control, while segregation of on-site operations helps pinpoint areas where changes in working practices can reduce waste and lost profits. "Studies have shown that the tracking and analysis of waste in an operation can reduce waste by up to 10%," said Catherine Buresh, Operations Manager.  "Waste tracking increases profit margins without affecting the customers' dining experience and less landfill and greener working practices lead to a more environmentally friendly operation." 06/03/2012

Recycled Energy Development Announces Two CHP Projects for Dean Foods

Recycled Energy DevelopmentIllinois based Recycled Energy Development (RED) has announced two new combined heat and power (CHP) projects for Dean Foods where integrated utilization of waste heat recovered from on-site power generation will increase efficiencies and reduce the company's overall greenhouse gas footprint. The two projects, in the City of Industry, California, and in Franklin, Massachusetts, will generate about 2 megawatts of electricity each, while recovering and providing around 4.5 million Btu/hour of thermal energy. RED is a long-established national leader in the field of waste heat recovery and reuse; Chairman Tom Casten has provided international CHP leadership, founding or leading organizations including the World Alliance for Distributed Energy (WADE), the International District Energy Association (IDEA), and the U.S. Clean Heat and Power Association (USCHPA). Casten has written numerous books and articles, including Turning Off the Heat on Teru's Bookshelf. The Dean Foods company produces many well-known brands including Silk® and Land O'Lakes®. “Recycled Energy Development’s proven track record capturing waste heat will help Dean Foods meet its business objectives in ways that also are right for the environment,” said Shaun Young, vice president of engineering at Dean Foods. 06/03/2012

CEC AB 118 Awards Support Biodiesel, E85, and Waste Conversion to Biofuel

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced unanimous approval this week for award of more than $35 million in Assembly Bill 118 Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program funds (PON-11-601), from the annual program funding allotment of about $100 million. Seven companies received awards ranging from almost $15 million for CalStart's alternative fuels / technologies demonstration to a $16,000 buy-down incentive supporting Reynolds Buick-GMC's purchase of two natural gas mid-weight vehicles. Propel Biofuels will receive over $10 million for 101 E85 pumps across the state. the non-profit Gas Technology Institute receives about $4.5 million for plug-in hybrid truck demos. Chico-based Springboard Biodiesel will get $750,000 to help build a pilot production plant. Whole Energy Pacifica gets support for biodiesel/petro-diesel blending capabilities in Richmond. Perhaps most novel at least for California is the SacPort Renewable Diesel Pilot Project by SacPort Biofuels Corporation. The award of $5 million will help its project team "develop, build, validate, and test a pilot facility to demonstrate an innovative Fischer-Tropsch process for the production of renewable diesel from locally sourced municipal solid waste [MSW]. The project will be located in West Sacramento and will produce up to 365,000 gallons of renewable diesel annually." According to the grant Work Order, the SacPort team's technology providers include Sierra Energy, whose test unit in the Army Renewable Technology Center at McClellan Park has now proven production of clean synthetic fuel gas (syngas) from MSW residuals, and the advanced micro-channel catalytic of Velocys, the Ohio-based subsidiary of Oxford Catalysts. Energy Commissioner Carla Peterman stated, "Investing in these innovative projects will benefit all Californians by improving our air quality, creating jobs, and providing the diverse transportation options that we need today and in the future." 06/01/2012

Interagency Committee Formed to Assess Clean Tech for Federal Facilities

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced formation of a new interagency advisory committee for accelerated deployment of "innovative products and technologies in the federal sector." Created under the existing Interagency Technology Deployment Working Group, the new Senior Executive Committee for Technology Deployment is tasked to "support the transition of energy efficient technologies from research and development to successful commercialization by developing consistent processes to test and evaluate innovative and underutilized technologies, and share information on technology performance and economic value agency-wide," coordinated agency-wide by the Energy Department's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). The effort stems from President Obama's December 2011 overall federal energy efficiency initiative, within which $2 billion was committed for federal facility energy redevelopment. The new interagency Committee will spur testing and evaluation of energy technologies, sharing results across the federal government. "When individual clean energy technologies are shown to save energy and money, agencies will work to accelerate their deployment across federal agencies, in turn, helping to speed their adoption in commercial markets. Agencies will also develop new policies, modify procurement specifications, and increase communications and outreach about these technologies to support this effort." 06/01/2012

TOMRA Acquires BEST to Improve Optical Sorting for Waste Processing

TOMRA Sorting SystemsNorwegian waste processing specialist TOMRA Sorting Systems ASA (TOMRA) has announced an agreement for full acquisition of the Belgian firm BEST Kwadraat NV for EUR 138 million. BEST is a European leader in developing and deploying its proprietary optical sorting technologies applicable to a wide array of food sorting applications. Kinetic waste processing at advanced materials recovery facilities (MRF) now relies on optical sorting where precise separation is required, and TOMRA is a global leader in waste sorting at advanced MRF design, equipment supply and development. “BEST brings to the table both unique, patented technology and leading market positions in several fast-growing segments of the food sorting industry”, says Stefan Ranstrand, TOMRA’s President and CEO. “The proposed acquisition of BEST will strengthen TOMRA’s market presence in the food sorting segment and together with what we also have in our existing food sorting unit, it will provide an unrivalled technology base from which to grow our business further.” The acquisition transaction is expected to close in July 2012. TOMRA changed its name from TITECH Group in February 2012. 06/01/2012 

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CHAGALL: The Recycling Dragon
CHAGALL: The Recycling Dragon by Marty Strauss

 

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Out of the Wasteland: Stories from the Environmental Frontier by Paul Relis
Out of the Wasteland: Stories from the Environmental Frontier by Paul Relis

 
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